10 places in Russia that barely look Russian at all (PHOTOS)

Ramil Sitdikov/Sputnik
Believe your eyes – and find these sites in Siberia, the Urals, and the Far East.

When looking at these places, it’s easy to confuse them with anywhere but Russia – but all of them are in this vast country.

1. Paris in Moscow

A corner of the French capital can be seen at Kievskaya metro station. The arch above the entrance repeats the same theme of the Paris metropolitan designed by French architect Hector Guimard. This decoration, called "Guimard"  in honor of the designer, was a gift from Paris to Moscow. In its turn, the city presented Paris with a Ryaba la Poule (the character of the fairy tale) stained-glass, which now graces Madeleine Metro station.

2. Bruges in Yoshkar-Ola

This Central Russian city has gathered some “European” landmarks in its center. The Bruges embankment (yes, its official name) here is home to a number of beautiful Flemish-style buildings. These buildings house ministries, municipal agencies, and other institutions.

Among other interesting things are monuments to Grace Kelly and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and a copy of the Tsar Cannon, which, like the original, has never been fired.

3. Venice in St. Petersburg

Russians often call St. Petersburg “The Northern Venice.” Like in the Italian city, there are hundreds of bridges and canals and stunning architecture.  But what makes the Russian city special is the “white” nights of midsummer. An absolute must-see!

4. Iceland in Kamchatka

If you want to see a Valley of Geysers, your next destination is Kamchatka, in Russia’s Far Far East. There are over 200 thermal springs, including 90 geysers, which spurt boiling water dozens of feet into the air.

5. Niagara falls on Taymyr

One of Russia's most inaccessible places, the Putorana Plateau, is popular among extreme travelers. It’s rather hard to get there, but it is an unforgettable trip, we promise. When looking at the Putorana Plateau, you’ll see a mountain massif like in the Grand Canyon and the highest waterfall in Russia called Talnikovy.

6. Swiss landscapes in Altai

Like road trips? Visit the picturesque Chuysky Trakt in Siberia and you’ll fall in love with all of its 590 miles. The winding highway offers wonderful views of the heavily forested Altai mountains.

7. Tibet in Buryatia

Russia is a multi-confessional country. In Buryatia, for example, many people are Buddhists, so there you can see many datsans (Buddhist university temples). This traditional Buddhist temple located near Ivolga village, after which it is named, is the most famous dastan in Russia.

8. Chinese house in Moscow

The famous Perlov Tea House on Myasnitskaya Street was built in the 19th century in pseudo-Chinese style and stands out among neighboring buildings. You won’t find anything else like this in central Moscow! By the way, you can still choose various kinds of tea (and desserts) - just as you’ve been able to since the days of the tsars!

9. Cappadocia in Voronezh

Let’s move to Divnogorye nature reserve, in Southern Russia, where the chalk cliff faces and hills are honeycombed with old cave churches and underground passages. There are similar rock-hewn temples in Bulgaria and Turkey.

10. Maldives in Vladivostok 

Bright turquoise water, sandy beach, idyllic landscapes – but it’s not Bali, nor the Maldives. We are in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok. This is the Petrov Bay, a favorite with surfers and kayakers. Here you can enjoy great seafood suppers, with local fish and crab.  

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